A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.

from Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Rime Of The Ancient Mariner on Rap Genius


Is this a tale the Wedding Guest needed to hear? Is this why the mariner stopped him in particular as “one of three?”

The poem suggests as much: “That moment that his face I see // I know the man that must hear me: // To him my tale I teach.” The mariner recognizes those who are like him and relates his story to them. Having shared the tale with the wedding guest, the latter becomes “a sadder and a wiser man” by acknowledging his kinship with the sinful yet repentant mariner.

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